Personal life not affair game

Former Toronto mayoral candidate and current Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Chair Adam Giambrone ended his bid for office on Wednesday after it emerged he had engaged in several inappropriate relationships with younger women, the Globe and Mail reported Feb. 10.

Thirty-two-year-old Giambrone’s sexual relationship with 20-year-old university student Kristen Lucas was made public on Tuesday. Giambrone maintained the two only exchanged text messages and conversation.

Giambrone and his long-term partner, Sarah McQuarrie, were together during the time he and Lucas had a relationship.

While Giambrone’s behaviour might be considered morally reprehensible, a politician’s personal life shouldn’t be significant in the process of vetting him or her as a candidate.

The process of voting for a mayor shouldn’t be swayed by aspects of the candidate’s personal life that have little to do with his or her potential for leadership. Torontonians would have done better to consider the needs of their city rather than the way in which Giambrone treated his girlfriend.

It’s disappointing Giambrone continued to deny the truth of his affair when it would be more honourable to accept the allegations against him. But Giambrone’s handling of women wouldn’t necessarily have played a role in his handling of tax dollars.

Ideally, there should be a division between the personal and the political when considering which candidate is best for the role of mayor.

Infidelity is unfortunately common. It’s important for news outlets to report on scandals like Giambrone’s, but in cases where the candidate chooses to remain in the running, voters shouldn’t feel unduly swayed by the sensationalism of politicians’ poor personal decisions.

Those who run for political office on any level should understand that their job places them in the public eye.

When running as a candidate, the private unfortunately becomes public. Giambrone’s case demonstrates that by entering the political arena, individuals open themselves up to scrutiny by nature of the fact that they wish to serve to represent the people.

Overblown national media attention is unnecessary in this case, but the local public has a right to find out about their candidates’ behaviour before making the choice of whether or not it matters.

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